Tuesday, July 25, 2006

White phosphorus weapons? Check. Bombing Ambulances? Check...

“We will stand with Israel because Israel is standing for American values as well as Israeli ones,” said Mrs. Clinton, who was joined by two dozen political and religious leaders on a stage along 42nd Street."—New York Times, July 17, 2006.
And, she's right. Israel continues to adopt US values.

http://www.thestate.com: Fleeing families, ambulances hit in rocket attacks

Jawad Najem, a surgeon at the hospital, said patients admitted Sunday had burns from phosphorous incendiary weapons used by Israel. The Geneva Conventions ban using white phosphorus as an incendiary weapon against civilian populations and in air attacks against military forces in civilian areas. Israel said its weapons comply with international law.

“Mahmoud Sarour, 14, was admitted to the hospital yesterday and treated for phosphorous burns to his face,” Najem said. Mahmoud’s 8-month-old sister, Maryam, suffered similar burns on her neck and hands when an Israeli rocket hit the family car.

The children were with their father, mother and other relatives when the car was hit by an Israeli missile. Their father died instantly.

The Sarour family was evacuated from Tyre to Cyprus on Monday aboard a ferry chartered by Germany.

The Sarours had to go to the port by taxi because the Lebanese Red Cross suspended operations outside Tyre after Israeli jets blasted two ambulances with rockets, said Ali Deebe, a Red Cross spokesman in Tyre.

In the incident Sunday, one Red Cross ambulance went south of Tyre to meet an ambulance and transfer the wounded to the hospital.

“When we have wounded outside the city, we always used two ambulances,” Deebe said.

The rocket attack on the two vehicles wounded six ambulance workers and three civilians — an 11-year-old boy, an elderly woman and a man, Deebe said.

“One of the rockets hit right in the middle of the big red cross that was painted on top of the ambulance,” he said. “This is a clear violation of humanitarian law, of international law. We are neutral, and we should not be targeted.”

Kassem Shalan, one of the ambulance workers, told AP Television News nine people were injured. “We were transferring the wounded into our vehicle and something fell, and I dropped to the floor,” he said.

Amateur video provided by an ambulance worker confirmed Deebe’s account of damage to the vehicles, showing one large hole and several smaller ones in the roof of one ambulance and a large hole in the roof of the second. Both were destroyed.

The Israeli military said it was investigating the incident.

Israeli rockets have been hitting around Najem Hospital for most of the past two weeks, nursing director Inaya Haydar said. “I don’t sleep very much at night, sometimes two hours; sometimes I don’t sleep at all.”

Six members of Haydar’s family were killed three days ago in Srifa, her home village southeast of Tyre.


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